This is not an equal comparison as there is absolutely no correlation between the two – with Stumpy being the tame-ish deer that frequents Kylesku and Stompie is the South African term for a fag butt ….. or is there? The old adage – man vs nature!
This is Stumpy – quite shy
There is always a lot of controversy surrounding the culling of wild animals and none more so than here in Scotland where it is deemed to be a necessity, with numbers multiplying to levels too many for the natural resources to sustain them all. These numbers are attributed to the fact that wolves – their natural predators – have disappeared. On doing a little research I read that if undisturbed a herd of 300 deers can grow to 3000 in a space of 13 years (The guardian.co.uk).
With the lack of sufficient grazing, the health and well being of these animals will deteriorate. So, in order to keep the herds happy and healthy the culling is necessary. The estate owners determine annually which of the herd are in poor health, or getting too old to be able to nourish themselves and will target these animals when “hunting” season opens – speeding up the natural circle of their lives. Now as everyone who knows me knows, I am an avid anti-gun champion and deplore the “sport” of hunting, but understand the reasoning behind this. But if man had not in their supposed wisdom, killed off the wolves in order to protect themselves, this conundrum would not exist.
Man 1 – Nature 0
The north west of Scotland is opening up massively to tourism, which is welcomed by the locals with the much needed injection of cash into the economy, which also unfortunately brings with it, its own problems, not only for the deer but other wildlife too. You would think with the easy access to internet, the trend to go green, the massive international anti-pollution drive and just common sense, people would be respectful of the unspoilt places still left on this planet of ours. Out running in the perfect solitude that this place offers, I came across a Starbucks coffee cup discarded on the road side. The closest Starbucks is many many miles away, so why would someone wait till they are in the middle of this pristine environment to chuck this out their window! But my biggest dismay was, watching two women, needing to step outside the restaurant to have a cigarette, standing chatting and admiring the spectacular vista that they have come to witness, then casually turning away and both flicking their stompies into the loch! Is it lack of education, stupidity or just total lack of soul?
So why the comparison between Stumpy and stompies? This is Stumpy’s natural hunting ground, he is an old man, who appears to prefer his own company to that of a herd and hangs around the Kylesku Hotel and has become somewhat of a feature and sighting him brings much excitement. His horns are stumpy and are no longer as majestic as they used to be in his prime, with his teeth deteriorating and wearing down so he is not able to get as much nourishment as he needs. But he belongs! He fits! Those human visitors with their gas guzzling 4×4’s, cameras at the ready to show they were here, whilst not truly appreciating the beauty that surrounds them, flicking their stompies which take more than 10 years to decompose, contaminate waterways and soil and harm wildlife – do not!
Stumpy 0 – Stompies 1 – a sad state of affairs.